Hello (Questions from a beginer)
  • Hello. I just got done reading Avery Cardoza's section on blackjack in "How to Win at Gambling." I feel I have the basic strategies down. My first question is how far will that take someone in Vegas, if they are applied correctly?

    Secondly, would it be unrealistic for a beginner such as myself (having played in vegas for probably a total of 1 hour in my life) stepping up to Cardoza's "Winning Casino Blackjack for the Non-Counter" (here's the kicker, I'm leaving for Vegas in 5 days)? Also, if anyone knows, does this book cover multiple deck games?

    Also, is there a website that talks about different casinos blackjack games? Especially with this whole 6-5 thing. I'd like to know if all casinos are doing this or just some?

    Thanks everyone.
  • basic strategy will take you all the way to bankruptcy if you let it. Blackjack is a negative EV game (the house has an edge that is approximately 1/2 percent in its favor. That means a perfect BS player will lose .5% of each bet made. At $10 bucks a pop, that is a nickel in their pocket. if you keep subtracting a nickel for every 10 dollar bet, eventually you go broke.

    Second, there is no "winning BJ for the non-counter". So don't get trapped in some sucker-play scheme that won't work... Counting is not that hard, it works, and many can give you success stories. The only people that make money on non-counting schemes are the non-counters selling the non-counting system.. they are taking your money...
  • Basic strategy can take you wherever your luck will allow. You could be
    lucky and play for days or unlucky and lose quickly. Suggest you play the
    low limit tables and grid it out. Patience is a virtue...use it.

    You don't have time to progress past basic strategy and futhermore, any
    method other than card counting and/or shuffle tracking is not a winning
    strategy. So, don't buy Cardoza's book, no matter his claim.

    Don't play 6:5 Blackjack, CSM's, and games that don't allow DAS or limit
    doubles to 9,10,and 11 only. Have fun and when you get back I'll tell you
    where to look for more BJ education that doesn't cost anything.

  • Thanks.

    Luck will help, hopefully I can get some. I plan on playing the low tables. Five is probably the lowest, correct? Its funny because I never really liked blackjack but figured I would read up on it before I went out there. Now its gotten me very intrigued.
    Cardoza does speak with such postivistic language that he probably does get his readers(amateurs) into a frenzy. Its hard not to get caught up in it. Thanks for grounding me.
    Before I forget, are the 6-5 tables widespread? And how about a single-deck game? I heard about some near Binions.

    Hopefully it will be a fun couple of days. Thanks again for the advice and I'll report back after the trip(and possibly before, for some advice).

  • Cardoza is a long time card counter, but money is money. I have not
    been to LV much in the last few yrs., but there are some single deck
    3:2 games available. I suspect that the big joints would offer 6:5 tho.
  • Luck is standard deviation. Over time the luck cancels out and the only thing that remains is your edge of about +1.5% if you count, or the house edge that can be –0.26% in the best 6D,S17,DAS,RSA,LA and even that small house edge will bankrupt you with time.

    The actual edge is wrapped around by luck, the more you play this game the law of large numbers will cancel the luck out. You have to get the edge if you want to make any money in this game. Basic Strategy only reduce the house edge to 0.5% or less but still is a losing strategy.
  • fishdawg40:

    Regarding Cardoza's "Winning Casino Blackjack for the Non-Counter"

    Good news! You don't have to buy the book or even read it, and you can make use of the info when you're in Vegas, even if it's only five days from now.

    All he says, basically, is that if you happen to notice more small cards (2-6), as opposed to big cards (10, A), being played, raise your bet a little. This will not give you a solid edge over the casino, but will help cut the house advantage.

    Suppose you see several players at your table have taken 2 or 3 hits and the dealer pulls a five-card 21. Some players may leave in disgust. This is when you raise your bet. Conversely, if you see a lot of 20s, just keep betting the table minimum.

    Keeping precise track of the disparity between low cards and high cards played is what card counters do.
  • Thanks esarem51. It seems as if he delves into this in his "How to Win at Gambling." However, he prefaces this by saying that this system will only work with single deck games and those seem to be few and far between. Does this appy to multiple decks as well?

    Thanks again for the advice.
  • I would say the concept is still valid for multiple decks, but the effect will be less pronounced. (Maybe considerably less pronounced.)

    All I'm saying is that if you're looking for an excuse to bet more than table minimum, having just seen a lot of small cards should be it.
  • Maybe it is just me, but I wouldn't even think about doing that with a shoe game. That is very dangerous IMO.
  • What our Minnesota friend is saying is that some knowledge beats the
    hell out of no knowledge.....one deck or twenty.

    If you expect to win, you must bet more when you have an advantage and
    yes, even when you just think you have an advantage. There will always
    be a level of uncertainty regarding the outcome, but that is true for about
    everything that you do.......period
  • Ray said:
    There will always
    be a level of uncertainty regarding the outcome, but that is true for about
    everything that you do.......period

    I like that quote, had to paste it.

    Well, I think I bit off more than I can chew and bought "Winning Blackjack for the Serious Player" by Edwin Silberstang (any comments on this book or Mr. Silberstang?). It was one of the few books at the local bookstore that seemed to have a beginner lesson on counting. However, counting does seem easier than I had expected, but implementing it, I'm sure, will be most difficult. I'll save the counting for a different trip, but I'm going to read and practice this like crazy before I go just for the heck of it.

    Just to knock some sense into me, will someone tell me that there is no way I should attempt to count on this trip?

  • Dawg,

    I don't think it would be bad to attempt to count....but where you could go wrong is increasing your bets based on your count IF you are off. If you're not counting correctly and you increase your bet it could bite you in the ass. I'm not proficient at counting yet, but I will attempt it, especially on single deck/double deck games. I usually double up my bet once I lose two bets. It's worked often...but I have lost my whole BR in the first 30 minutes before. My strategy is to not get greedy and take a $50-$100 win and walk. I don't play for comps........other than the free beer.
  • Five years ago I went to Las Vegas for the first time. I'm now 57 and retired. I lost $1,500 the first night drinking and gambling. At this point I never heard of Basic Strategy. Well, lost a lot of money that trip stupid and I swore if I ever went back I would at least know the rules and best way to play without counting. I started reading last July for a December 2004 four day trip. I had BS just about mastered by trip date and flat bet $5 and $10 entire trip. No comps for the four days, but I won $285. This gave me the confidence to go to Seneca Allegheny in Jamuary 2005 for the day. Played Green for 12 hours and won $350...no counting. I just returned from a six day LV trip betting green entire time starting with a $5,000 BR and losing approximately $1800 for the trip. I realize I over-tipped during the trip and this would have reduced my losses to under $1500. I caused the highest percentage of my losses, not the cards. I made too many mistakes like forgetting to double after a split, not splitting some low hands that should have been split, etc. Comps...Golden Nugget comp'd me three meals daily. I stayed at the Pllaza, but didn't give them enough time to properly rate me because the next visit I will stay at the GN.

    Bottom Line...This trip convinced me that I must learn how to count cards. I have all the software and time, but it's the motivation required that's not firm. Stainless said, "Second, there is no "winning blackjack for the non-counter." Alex, " you have to have the edge if you want to make any money."

    I don't care if it's 1 deck or 8 deck, I sure would like to know the TC when hitting a 16/10 with a deck remaining in say 6D and a -5TC.

    Enjoyed the thread....take care, Jim
  • I will never again sign up for a player's card unless I'm at the $50/100 playing level. The perks given are noit worth the inofrmation you are exchanging at low limits. Depending who you are, you centainly don't want FinCen in your sandbox. Just my opinion...the Casino's are actually spies for the government with regards to reporting requirements as low as $3,000 according to the Fiancial Crimes Enforcement Network.

    Take care, Jim
  • A couple of things. You probably don't want a player's card with +your+ name on it at the higher levels. There is where you are more likely to get caught and barred, and with your real name, you are screwed.

    For anyone wanting to learn to count, buy CVBJ. It will do more for your counting speed and accuracy in a month than any other kind of testing you can do, even live casino, because CVBJ will nag you about every BS error, every BS departure index error, every bet error (which catches your TC conversion errors and running count errors together) and so forth.
  • Thanks Stainless....I purchased CVBJ approx. 3 month's ago and extremely satisfied...I now need the motivation to devote the necessary time learning to count.

    Take Care, Jim
  • Lots of good info in this thread. Thanks for all the info. I will make an attempt at it this month in Tahoe......hopefully on single deck.
  • Here's the way to motivate yourself:

    set yourself a _reasonable_ goal. For me, every night I run a custom "CV drills test". This test includes a bunch of BS hands to make BS automatic; a 6-deck shoe countdown two cards at a time, set the interval for each pair of cards short enough that it "pushes" you to keep up. In a couple of weeks, shorten it again... Finally a full table drill with a 6d shoe. Do them with zero errors, or else start over.

    Next play for at least 15 minutes, preferably longer, trying to have no playing or betting errors. This will work on your true-count conversion if you are using a balanced count like hilo, and it will obviously also test your running count since that is needed for the true count. It also tests your remaining deck estimation since that is the denominator of the TC conversion... If you don't get nagged about a bad bet or a bad BS departure index play, most likely your RC/TC is right on the money. And if it isn't, but your betting and playing is correct, that is ok, since tiny errors won't blow your bottom line.

    But the main point is to set up something you can live with every night so that you will do it without missing a night. I have more complex drills I run, but they are more infrequent to keep the "must-do" time reasonable...

    If you do that, you will get better, and you will definitely become a danger when you walk into the casino... to them...
  • Well, the boat leaves early tommorrow morning. I know my basic strategy, some good cards are all I can ask for. I'll let you guys know the damage next week. I appreciate all the advice.

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